Jose Mourinho says he has learned from “throwing away” FA Cup games in the past and will not make the same mistake against Blackburn Rovers.
The Manchester United manager claims he’ll start Sunday’s cup clash with a strong line-up, as he aims to secure a unique cup treble this season.
United will face Southampton in the EFL Cup final next Sunday, whilst his side are in a commanding position in the Europa League after their first-leg win over Saint Etienne.
Mourinho admits he made a grave mistake in his first season in England with Chelsea back in February 2005, when he played a second-string side against Newcastle in the fifth round.
That month, Chelsea faced Barcelona in the Champions League and were in the League Cup final against Liverpool, and was forced to play a weakened team at St James’ Park.
His side lost 1-0 to the Magpies, and Mourinho has played a strong team in the FA Cup ever since.
Mourinho said: “Yes, I threw it away. In the same week there was Champions League against Barcelona and the final against Liverpool and in the middle of it we had Newcastle and I threw it away, I gambled too much.
“I focused too much on Barcelona and Liverpool. It was good because although we lost in Barcelona we went through after the second leg and also won the final against Liverpool. But the feeling that I threw it away was not good. So I won’t throw it away.”
The Portuguese coach also took a swipe at fellow foreign managers in England, claiming they don’t respect the FA Cup enough, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool crashing out of the Cup after he played an fringe side in the last round against Wolves.
“Maybe we don’t have as many managers with that English culture as we should.
“Maybe we foreign managers . . . not everybody studies and understands the culture of this country.
“In my case, I immediately had that situation with the match at Newcastle. So for me it was a lesson.”